Thirty-nine jobs might go at Totton College, says Nacro

Totton College
Totton College

The social justice charity Nacro has warned that 39 staff are at risk of losing their jobs at the cash-strapped Totton College, which merged with the charity in December.

The restructure plans, which Nacro said were designed to secure the college’s financial and education viability, affect 30.21 of the college’s 168 full-time equivalent posts.

The college said that although the 39 jobs were at risk, 14 FTE positions were also likely to be created by the restructure.

College staff were told about the plans yesterday and a 30-day consultation was launched to allow staff to respond to the proposal.

Nacro took on the Hampshire-based sixth form college when it ran into financial difficulties in 2014 and was issued with a "financial notice to improve" by its regulator and funding body, the Education Funding Agency.

In June 2015, Ofsted published a damning report, rating the 3,600-learner college inadequate across the board.

The EFA approached Nacro, which employs 725 people and works to reduce crime – both by working with ex-offenders and with those in danger of offending – to take on the college after mergers with the nearby Eastleigh College fell through.

Josh Coleman, education principal at Nacro, said: "The future of Totton College depends on the decisions we make now.

"We need to make sure we have everything in place to establish Totton College as a centre of vocational excellence. These proposals would also safeguard the college’s financial future.

"We are fully committed to Totton College and to building a centre of excellence that matches both local aspirations around education and vocational training but also is focused on the economic opportunities for young people in the area."

Nacro already offers skills and training at 25 centres around the country, but applied to the Charity Commission to expand its purposes to allow it to focus on further education – something Jacob Tas, chief executive of Nacro, has said was not a change of direction for the charity.

Mark Sellis, interim principal at Totton College, said: "We have to make sure the college is ready to meet the challenges of the future.

"Change is therefore inevitable – difficult as that is for all of us here – and we now await the outcome of the consultation to see how far-reaching that change will be.

"Staff whose jobs are considered at risk have been informed. This is a very difficult time for these staff in particular, but also for everyone at Totton College who has worked tirelessly and with great professionalism over the years."

A statement from the college said the consultation would involve meetings with individual staff and with faculties to discuss the potential impact, and with trade unions.

It said the college would report back to staff shortly after the consultation concluded.

No one from the Association of Teachers and Lecturers or the National Union of Teachers, which represent staff at the college, was available to comment.

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